not planned

Impromptu, extemporaneous, bull shit, and off-the-cuff are some of my favorite forms of expression. Can you form an outrageous series of statements that echo your effulgent joy in the extremities of expression without parameters? Of course! It’s fun.

Take copious notes. This may be on the final exam.


I would have loved to join the Establishment. They did not want me.

At a certain point in my life, I had begun to follow the advice of a close and very successful friend, and instead of taking swings at the world, I attempted to swing in coordination with the world.

I relegated the guitar and engineer boots to a closet. I did look good in tweed jackets, blue button-down shirts, regimental striped ties, and khaki slacks. Despite learning about good single malt Scotch, brandy, and wine, something was missing. A professor, meaning well, took me aside and explained that anthropology was a gentleman’s profession. And my peers did not consider me a gentleman. He advised that I just be myself.

Just myself, huh? Out came the guitar, and in an evening, I wrote a satirical piece called the High Society Rag about the situation.

“Well, I met myself the prettiest gal, lord I had ever seen. And she took me to meet her folks in the country club scene. Well, they liked me at very first sight and loved the way I sang. But they took violent exception to the class from which I came.”

 “I wasn’t white, liberal, or middle class – spelled WASP.

White liberal and middle class spelled WASP.

My Club affiliations were not the best -I wasn’t in the Rittenhouse, and if that were not enough for the upper crust – I wasn’t even middle class.”

In an impromptu fashion, my rag unwound the entire club hierarchy, DAR, class hierarchy, my peers, and my professors. I did my best to remind everyone that wasps were insects. The composition itself certainly wasn’t much. In my Greenwich Village days: you weren’t considered capable unless you could punch out a satire, protest song, or ballad a day. All three were best. Our pieces didn’t have to be fine art – just pungent.

In no time, I mapped out an entire anthropology folk opera. Three additional songs were written rapidly, including the overture. I would trundle out the guitar on request and perform the magnum opus at parties.

 I no longer wanted to be part of the Establishment; I was having too much fun lampooning it. The reaction among the snobs was gratifying. I had learned how to tie knots in the devil’s tail.

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